22 Sep Recent Twitter Updates
The Evolution of Twitter… Round 2!
Back in March 2016 we reviewed Twitter’s timeline (check it out!), the most recent Twitter updates and the milestones it had hit so far. From its inception in March 2006, to reaching 1 billion tweets in November of 2008, to the release of the Tweetdeck feature in 2012, to the iconic #Oscars selfie posted in March of 2014 by chat show host and general influencer Ellen Degeneres, it’s been a pretty epic journey.
We decided to review the changes we’ve seen since our last post, as you were all very interested the first time around!
‘Moments’ had been around for publishers since 2015, but were rolled out for the general public to use to their benefit. See below an example of one of Geonet’s ‘Moments’!
Moments allow content creators to collate all their topical posts/ tweets (and even tweets from other Twitter users) into a collection, meaning easier access and navigation for their followers. Upon clicking the link, users are taken to a page where all associated tweets are collected in one cute bundle. View Geonet’s moment here! In terms of conversion rate, making a process easier for users is key!
In January this year, Twitter axed the Moments tab (but don’t worry, they’re still ‘a thing’!), and the explore tab replaced it!
Twitter made it so that Moments were still available within the explore tab, but you had even more information in one place, by combining Twitter Trends, Twitter Moments and Search, all in one place.
It seemed as though Twitter were on a one-track-path to an improved UX, however we’re all aware of the stereotypical Twitter user – they’re often opposed to change, so it took them a while to get used to it!
Until March 2017, there weren’t many options for users to report or stop abuse they received, which was becoming problematic, so this development was a very positive progression.
They began to respond to the need for a safer space for all users, and has started to respond to threats and harassment through:
- Notification filtering.
Users can specify which accounts they do and don’t want to receive notifications from.
- Mute specific keywords and phrases.
Users can select keywords and content they don’t want to see appearing in their feed.
- Reporting transparency.
Users now receive notifications if and when Twitter reacts to an abuse report that a user files.
- Time out.
Users who are reported can sometimes be temporarily banned for bad behaviour to prevent the further creation of abusive content.
- Safe search.
Machine learning technology will prevent users from being served potentially abusive content when they search for tweets on the platform.
- Hiding abusive tweets.
Twitter has started identifying low quality tweets from potentially abusive accounts so users will see high quality content first. The tweets are still there, they’re just harder to find.
- Preventing new abuse.
Twitter has started preventing reported and flagged users from creating new accounts with the same contact information in an effort to prevent repeat offenders on the platform.
They are also starting to keep data for a longer time period (30 days instead of 10) so they can create more in-depth profiles of each Twitter user.
Also in May 2017, lead generation cards were brought in for business.
In a bid to encourage conversion rate, lead gen cards were created to encourage effortless sign up. Twitter would automatically fill out data for you (such as your name and the email address associated with your Twitter account) – all a user would need to do is click submit!
In-app conversions can increase conversion rate as visuals are more important than ever, and the easier you make it for a user to make a conversion, the more likely they are to do so. We all like to be spoon fed sometimes…
Check out Mailchimp’s example to the left.
June 2017 saw a major (and uncharacteristic!) redesign for Twitter, which was initially disliked by the majority of users.
Twitter stated the reason for the redesign was to make the app faster and easier to use, updating iOS, Android, their website and the TweetDeck service. Users eventually came round to the new design, after getting used to it and seeing the positives.
- Font redesign.
Headline sections were made bolder to make them stand out from the standard content, and in a bid to make them look more consistent, alongside a complete font change!
- Profile pictures.
Profile pictures were made circular instead of square.
- Profile section.
There was a new profile section brought in for iOS.
There were small changes made to icons such as the ‘like’ and ‘retweet’ buttons, and the ‘reply’ curved arrow was changed to a speech bubble – presumably to make it more self-explanatory for new users to Twitter.
- Live updates.
Twitter brought in live updates to retweets and likes, so you can now watch your likes roll in in real-time.
Where an image was cropped before, Twitter mixed things up and allowed the display of full screen images, which included the tweet itself laid over the top rather than just the image itself.
- Button switcharound.
iOS users got a little frustrated when Twitter relocated the explore and the notifications tab. Though it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, it confused a lot of avid Twitter users whose muscle memory was already ingrained to the way things were running!
One of the most recent Twitter updates (the real biggie!) was the simplified replies and Twitter becoming slightly less precious about their 140 character word count. From June 2017, it was decided that @names would no longer count towards the limit when in conversation, nor would images, gifs, polls, or quoted tweets. It has been proven that image-based content is more engaging than standard text, which is why this was part of the update.
Amongst the bigger changes, Twitter also added in a few smaller features to improve usage based on user-feedback. You can now ad alt text to images which is a huge step for the visually impaired, they added the well-loved .GIF feature, and allowed multi-photo displays!
However, the biggest complaint that was received was that although it was probably the most frequent request, Twitter still didn’t roll out the option to edit your tweets should you make a typo. Twitter, we’re still waiting…!